ADVENT BEGINS-A Family Journey Through The Season

Tonight we'll begin our Advent journey as a family. We'll use the Advent Calendar we got from John Piper's church last year.  Each evening we will sit down as a family and read the scriptures together and then one of the kids will get to place one of the pieces of the manger scene on the piece of burlap.
We were really surprised how much the kids enjoyed this last year.  It was the last thing that we did together each night before they went to bed.

Are you observing Advent this year?   What resources have you come across?
RESOURCES

Worship Post-Fessional, Nov. 30, 2008

All Because (Fee)-second time for this one. Was a great opener.
Greeting
Angels We Have Heard On High (Praise Carols)
Video (Law and Grace-John Deere)


Video (Law and Grace- Locust Stew)

Welcome
Prayer
Advent Reading
What Child Is This (Praise Carols)
Glorious Day (Bleeker)--Old hymn--new music.  would have been great had I hit a Bm instead of a B major chord.  Thank goodness the sermon was on grace because I certainly needed.  Great backing track by David Trevey!
Message-Grace
Once Again (Redman)
The Wonderful Cross

How was your Sunday?  We were down because of the holiday weekend--but kicked off Christmas with 2 Christmas carols.   The place looked great with all of the Christmas trees and stuff. We had 4 Pine scent candles from Walmart to give us our Christmas "smell"--sublte, it wasn't too overpowering.

This post is part of Sunday Setlist over on Fred McKinnon's site.

Go TECH--Beat the Baptists!

Today my Red Raiders will close out this historic season with a game against Baylor University.  We're hoping for redemption (not in the biblical sense) of this season after last week's game in Oklahoma.  (The truth is the real Red Raiders never made it to Norman.  Their bus broke down in Wichita Falls.  I'm not sure who that team was that showed up).

This game with Baylor has always been a special one for my family.  My Dad was a Baylor alum and each time the Bears came to town it meant that we would get to go to the Tech game.  I think Dad really wanted us to go to Baylor, but who could afford to go there ( not a Minister's child).  Anyway I still have his Baylor diploma displayed in our hallway.

We have some good Baylor friends and I hope and pray that we win today so that I will not have to endure their taunts.

We're also cheering today for OSU and Texas A&M--we need both Aggies to come through for us.

Now This Was Technology At It's Best--The Phone Scrambler 1966

Now this was where technology was headed in the the 1960's.  This chunky phone device would scramble the signal so eavesdroppers and wiretappers couldn't hear your conversations.

It cost $275 back in 1966 and that was lots of money back then.

I've never seen these before, have you?  Looks to me like the beginning of the cell phone age.

How far we've come!

Our Black Friday Experience



So,we awoke @ 3:45 AM on Friday to head out shopping. Our kids were with us this time and we didn't feel like we could leave them in the hotel. We left a wake up call at the front desk--they laughed when we told them what time.

We thought we needed to be to our place by 5:00 AM, but Mom had decided that Circuit City could wait. When we arrived at Target at 4:30--we were the 15th in line and it was only then that she told us we had an hour and half to wait...argghhh...

We survived and watched the many different kinds of tactics used by people to go to the front of the line:

1)the stealth hang around the front door--non-challant. This guy got called out.
2)the dress like the Target employees so you blend it---called out again.
3) the lady who stood across the parking lot from the front door with her cigarette in her mouth hoping she could blend in too... nope!

We got in at 6AM and were pretty much done with Target @ 6:45. We paid CASH this year--no Debit, no credit. That felt good.

After a couple of stops we went to my fave restaurant in the Metroplex--La Madeline and had breakfast. Yum!!! This place takes me back and I enjoy the warm coffee, the fireplace and the music they play. Ah... heaven.

Then it was off to the Mall again for some incidentals. I saw the most amazing product there---an electric cigarette (with actual smoke). No--I don't smoke, but there were people lined up at this thing taking a drag and puffing away. Incredible.

Glad to be home and done with our Christmas shopping...for now. Just a few more little things and we're done.

How was your shopping day?

We Have Become A Nation of Savages



We heard about this today as we were heading back to the hotel after our early morning adventure. We certainly saw big crowds but none as unruly as this.

What have we come to in this nation when things (things like electronics and gifts and gadgets and trash that will soon be forgotten) have taken precendence over a life. That life is now gone--but you can be sure that tonight someone is sitting pretty with their $69 digital camera that they just have to have.

I just hope and pray that remorse and conviction come over these folks who did this. Shame, shame, shame America! Maybe we aren't the proud land we used to be. On a scale of A to F--we get an F today!


HT: Ragamuffinsoul

What I Did With My Free Time Over Thanksgiving

So I just have to show you what I did with my free time over the Thanksgiving holiday.  After my nap(s) I had some spare time and decided to make me a TURKEY hat!   Really, I did!   What?  You don't believe me?

I'm sure these items are meaningful to this lady who made them, but I'm seriously thinking these will be in the January garage sale.

Give her an "A" for creativity.


HT:  Craftzine

Black Friday Shopping

This is where Diane and I will be this morning as we do some Christmas shopping.  I know-it's crazy but we both enjoy the hustle and bustle.  It gives me a new perspective on America and especially this year with the economic crisis I will be interested to see how much people are adjusting their lives.

Last year we got all of our shopping done by 10 AM and then we headed to one of our favorite bistros for breakfast by ourselves.  I'm sure we'll do the same thing again this year.

We'll sit down with the ads on Thanksgiving eve and see where we want to go.


I've always thought that the best thing to do would be to buy your Christmas gifts on Wednesday and then watch the ads on Thursday and take them back for an adjustment on Friday/Saturday?  What do you think?  Isn't that a great idea?  No standing in long lines to get that one item you really wanted but everyone else scooped up.

So where will you be Friday morning?

This Is Just Wrong!

Looking for an alternative to Turkey today--try Tofurky.  Made from Tofu, it's a meat ALTERNATIVE that is produced by Turtle Island Foods.

Check it out here--but give me the real stuff today.

Thanksgiving Naps--I'm There!



Every Thanksgiving I have a ritual that I must observe. The Thanksgiving NAP is a tradition with me. I don't know when it began because certainly when I was little naps were the last thing on my mind.

 Anyway, when the day begins I count the hours until I can crash after a wonderful meal of turkey and dressing. I even save my dessert until after the nap.

In one of our former churches we were blessed to be included each year in a church member's family and their Thanksgiving traditions. Each year I would come in and "spot" my couch and claim to the rest of them to stay away from it. What a glorious day to eat and enjoy the food and be filled with the fellowship of friends and family. Thanksgiving naps are the best.

How about you? What do you do after the Thanksgiving meal.

Water Cooler Wednesday--Creativity Is Contagious

This post is part of Water Cooler Wednesdays over on Randy Elrod's site, Ethos.
This is Layne Scott--he's our Student Minister.  Layne is a hoot to be around and his style is very laid back.  We tease him about the pace of life he leads (very slow and deliberate).  However, the other day I caught him in the act of creating something for his Sunday morning teaching on the 10 Commandments.  He was so proud of the these props that he had made and I took a picture to mark the event.

How much creativity is spread around your organization? Does your creativity spill over into other ministry areas?  I'd like to think that about our Worship Arts Ministry.   I hope that we're influencing the culture around us and giving permission to be creative in order to teach truth.

So--congratulations Layne on these props. Your on my list now when I need help!

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover

I love old books.  I collect some of them that are about Worship. In fact at one time I had quite an extensive collection of old hymnals ( I still have a few). One of my prize possesions is a Scottish Psalter (hymn book) from 1900 that I found in an old book shop in the early 90's.

This lady has taken Old books to a new level by creating Jewelry out of them.  Wow!  What a creative thought.  Take a look at her work.

HT:  Makezine

REPOST: What's In Your Toolbox?


The idea for this blog came some time ago as I worked my way through a couple of software programs, cranking out the things needed for weekly worship. I wondered "what do other people use (software, etc) on a regular basis?" If I was a mechanic, this would be a peek inside my toolbox. So, feel free to jump in a share what you use on a regular basis. Here goes:




1. Sony SoundForge 9
I've been using Sony Sound Forge for about 10 years now. I don't know any other audio program that gives me such a quick response. I'm using it to cut and edit media (audio) from Sunday morning's sermons to upload to the web. It works for me!

2. Adobe Photoshop/Photoshop Elements
One thing that I didn't realize in seminary was that part of my job would be graphic arts, printing and publicity production. I've graduated from my earlier days of Microsoft Picture It! to Photoshop and Elements. Most of the time it's Elements for quick and simple jobs. If I had more time, I'd become a Photoshop guru.

3. Media Shout
Last week I had to do something in Powerpoint for a funeral and I was totatlly lost. I used to be PPT guru, but since I moved to Media Shout, I've forgotten what a pain it is to have to put every verse in, style it, copy it, etc. Thank Heaven for Media Shout.

4.AVS4You- This video converter file has saved me many times. It will convert any media type into any other media type you need. ( AVI, MPG, MOV, WMA, MP4). Believe me--I depend on this one.

5. Digital Camera Poster Creator
This might not be one that everyone needs, but since we purchased a large scale printer last year, I needed a software that would bust the image up into quadrants and multiple squares. This program will do it! We use it for large scale printing for staging options and sets.

6. Planning Center Online-
This one probably should be up near the top since I'm on it constantly throughout the day. I have only been a member since April--but I'm wondering what took me so long to jump in. I've abandoned my Worship Software from Integrity! Today-it's online or nothing at all!

7. Sketchup
I've already blogged how I feel about this piece of software (and it's Free!). It helps me plan for the space before I'm in the space. I can dream up and scheme up any kind of background, set, etc that I want--and know what it looks like in 3D before it's built.

8. TubeSucker
Go ahead and pony up the $39.95 for the pro version because it will take off the Tubesucker logo imbedded in the freebie. For those times that you have to download those funny, foolish videos from You Tube--the good ones!

Ok--what's in your toolbox?

A Creative Proposal



Seems that the Staff at Willow Creek has taken creativity to a new level with these staff members. I wasn't this creative with my proposal. But hey, that was 19 years ago.

HT: Grace Every Day

Worship Post-Fessional, November 23

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred Mc Kinnon's blog. It's where worship leaders post their Sunday Morning lists and orders and we learn from each other what worked and what didn't/




You, You Are God (Gateway)
How Marvelous (Tomlin)
Video (We did a take off on the Mac and PC commercials)

Welcome
Offertory
Scripture Reading (Psalm 105)
What Can I Do (Baloche)
Bow Down (Joel Engle)
Prayer
Video

Message
Surrender (Marc James)
You Are (Mark Roach)

Today was the first day I've led out in front (not from piano) in almost 6 months. It was quiet an adjustment (what do I do with my hands again--oh yeah--don't wave them and direct). I also remember that you have to watch where you place your boom stand or you will hit it too. Quiet comical.

Sound was awesome today--really filled up the room and I guess the only negative was that my in-ears died again on last song so I couldn't hear the click track--no biggie though because they were piping some of it through to the floor monitor for the pianist.

So how was your Sunday?

One More Time...RAIDER... POWER!

Tonight we'll be hunkered down around the TV to watch our RED RAIDERS take on the Sooners in a very very important game not only in the Big 12 South race, but also in the BCS Standing.

So, if you call my house tonight and I don't answer--you know why.

Let me hear you say   RAIDER..... POWER!!  Go Tech!

Go Tigers-Round 2


It's Round 2 tonight as we travel back to Andrews for the Area round of playoffs against Monahans.  

This is the 4th time we've met them in the playoffs (we're 3-1 against them) and hopefully we'll come out on top this evening.

Here's to the Tigers!  Go 
get'em one more time.

Creative Chaos--The Importance of Branding A Series

Back in 2001 a former church that I served found itself in an all too familiar place.  At the end of the summer we were significantly behind budget and needed to find a way to "catch up" during the critical Fall period.

We came up with the campaign "90 to Nothing"--meaning that we would take the next 90 days to try to catch up on missed tithes and offerings and that people would give an extra offering to help catch up. (most of the churches that I have served have done this although my current church hasn't had a stewardship campaign in almost 3 years because of this sermon series).

We went all out for this.  We used the Checkered flag as our symbol and hung the banners all over the church and outside the church. We even had a church member bring a race car and set it in front of the church and had the local paper come and do an article on it.  My son was about 3 at the time and he was all about the racing stuff.  He couldn't read but he could hear us say something about "90 to Nothing" over and over again.

This made such an impression on him that later that year when we moved to the Metroplex we would drive by an entertainment complex that had a giant checkered flag as a symbol. Daniel would squeal with pleasure and say "Dad..dad...90 to Nothing".  It was then that I realized the impact and importance that happens when we brand or emphasize something in church.  To this day I think he would still instinctively answer "90 to Nothing" if you were to ask him what the symbol means.

How much do you consider the lasting impact of the images, the phrasing, the titling of series and promotions in your church?  As with the Stewards 'R Us series we can still start the phrase "It all comes from God, belongs to God and is _________(dispersed) by God" as our catch phrase from that series and people know where it comes from.

I'm not saying that we're always so successful with each teaching series.  It just points out the importance of thinking through the lasting impacts that words, images and series can have in the life of the church.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul.com.

Watercooler Wednesday: Visual Faith-Engaging Culture


I'm reading this book and I must admit that it's going very, very slow.  It's not an easy read as it traces the roots of visual representations of faith from the very beginning of the church.  Much of it is historical and a good reminder of just how far things have come; and just how far we have to go.

In the introductory chapters some of these quotes that have caught my attention are:
"Our culture no longer shares deep underlying values that can find expression in widely appreciated works of art and architecture. Rather, each of the ethnic, lifestyle and generational subcultures has it's own particular values and pursuits" (page 15)
"In fact, it is tempting to say that until Christians in the church get serious about supporting the arts they ought to temper their critcism about the kind of art that is produced"  (page 17)
"Unless we are moving forward in seeking the genuine transformation of culture, then we are standing still and it is transforming us." (page 23)
See what I mean? There are these huge statments that make me stop and think. I just have to take this thing very slowly.

My thoughts on these quotes:
Our desire to transform culture as Christian artists is sincere, genuine and I believe growing. However, it would be naive for us to think that just because Christians jump into the art scene once again that it will magically transform and return to the High Art that we've known in the past. 

 In fact when Christians return to the world of artistic culture, they may find that the gap between the culture has widened so much that they are engulfed in the loneliness and darkness which pervades much of the secular culture.   It is naive for us to think that just expressing our art in a public form will transform culture.  True, it must be seen and experienced just beyond the church culture, but the values that the church has and society has have never been more divergent and at odds. 

 In the last part of the quote he talks about the different subcultures and how they have developed their own set of values. I'm afraid this may be true as we have seen in the spotlight with national elections that we are a more fractured society than we have ever been.  Will we return to a set of common values?  I don't know--I pray that we will.

The church must again begin to support the arts and artists if we value and esteem this avenue of expression to the world.  A long time ago the church was the major Patron of the arts and yes, at times it was self-serving for the purposes of leadership and agendas. 

 I believe that the church must once again find itself as the Patron of good art and art worthy of esteeming these values that we hold dear.  It is in finding these valuable art forms and expressions that we may once again find away to communicate the love of Christ with ears that have grown deaf to our "verbal" assaults and empty attempts to "get them saved" for the sake of being saved.   

Our world is a more suspicious world these days.  Our witness has lost it's power in words only. Now we must use our lives and our gifts that have been given by God.

The last quote is what really gripped my heart.  

Unless we are moving forward in transforming the culture around us, we are losing ground.  To do nothing about it doesn't mean that we are maintaining the status quo. In fact to do nothing means that we are losing ground.  

For too long we have stayed out of the world of arts in protest of the values that have been expressed.  Maybe we wouldn't have lost as much ground had we stayed in the battle and continued to express our values and beliefs even in the face of criticism and mockery.  Wouldn't that have been the proper thing to do for the sake of the kingdom instead of making a holy huddle?  

So-what do you think?  How do these thoughts resonate with you?  I'll be interested to hear your take on them.

This post is part of Water Cooler Wednesday's over on Randy Elrod's blog, Ethos.  It's a place for people to discuss things like this.

A Shout Out From Synergy4Ministry

I got a shout out today from Synergy4Ministry.com.  I wrote an article about creativity and worship for them.

You can read it here.

Wants Vs. Needs

Seth Godin has an excellent article today entitled HUNGRY.  You must go read it as he so wonderfully explains how marketing has led us down the road to where our wants have become our needs.

I don't remember many quips and quotes that my Dad would say to us, but I do remember that he would say "Our wants are greater than our needs."  He was a World History teacher in his latter years, so I guess in some way his teachings came across this economic principle.

In these hard economic times we have to really distinguish between our wants and needs.  Have we become so convinced that we really want that and in turn it has become a need?

What do you think?  How have you seen this play out?  What's on your list of  "wants" that have been translated to "needs".  Go ahead-be honest now.


Worship Post-Fessional, Nov. 16, 2008

Here's what we did today in late worship. Our topic today was :THE LAW!
Set List

All Because (Fee) Our drummer did a kick'n track to this...wow. Thanks David!

Turn/Greet

Be Glorified (Tomlin)

Video-Stupid Criminal


Welcome

Offertory

We Rejoice (Sadler) 1994 Integrity. How many of you remember this one? Sam Perry did it on an early Passion release. Ah.. good memories of that album. "WE ARE FREE FROM THE LAW"

Scripture Reading-Psalm 63:3-4. (Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you...)

Because of Your Love (Baloche) We don't usually rock out before the sermon, but we did today. I started the chorus simply with piano at the beginning to transition from the scripture. Then we KICKED IT!. Enough said.

Law or No Law (Stupid Laws we have around the US)  Go to www.dumblaws.com or www.loonylaws.com

Message

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) Tomlin--a great closer!

So, how was your Sunday?

This post is part of Sunday Setlists over on Fred McKinnon's blog.

If Starbuck Marketed Like The Church



This is funny but true. Sometimes humor gets the point across best.

Happy Birthday Mattie


I called her Pumba for the longest time. She was a chubby little baby. But not any more.

Today Mattie turns 14! Where is the time going to?












She's extremely talented and very personable. She gets along with everyon ( and I'm not making that up). She's low on drama and low on maintenence.










We'll be celebrating with her tonight.

The Playoffs Begin--Go Tigers!

Tonight is another big night for the Tigers as they begin their second season--Playoffs are here.  

We'll travel about 2 hours West to meet Lubbock Cooper whom we met at the beginning of October ( we beat them 53-0, but I'm not holding my breath.  Anyone can come alive in the second season and go further than anyone expects them too. 

I'm hoping that for the Tigers this year.  The district race has been tough and we're  a little shaky coming in the last few games.

Go get'em Tigers

She Looks Like My Mom!













I said in my Monday blog how Taylor and I sang together for the USO Show on Sunday. When we were backstage (under the blue light) I looked at her and said "Taylor you look like Nana!"(My mom)

Here is the comparison. My mom was 18 in the picture to the left. This was her Sr. High photo. Taylor is 15 and a sophomore in school. See the similarities?

My wife remarked the other night "Isn't it funny how genetics play out in children and the next generation?".

So, who do you look like? Do your children favor one of your parents? I'm still working on this baldness thing--my Mom's Dad died at 90 with a full head of hair--where's the genetic fairness in that?

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. It's a day to honor those Veterans who have served our nation. On Memorial Day we remember those who are no longer with us. I'd like to remember my Dad today ( I know it's not Memorial Day-but this is my blog and I think I can take editorial control and post this)

Dad served in the Army (1st Infantry)where he was a Chaplain. He initally went overseas July of 1945 for the invasion of Japan (just 3 days after marrying my mom) and told us frequently had it not been for the Atom bomb dropped in August that he might not have been here.

He was stationed in parts of Japan in the Occupation and formed relationships with Japanese believers. I still have letters from some of these people that he ministered too, many of them sent pictures and stories of their families after the bombings.

I have his trunk (Army issued) with his name and serial number on it and have placed memories of his service to our country in that box for my kids to keep and remember. I also have many of his old sermons placed in a wooden box that he brought back from Japan.

One letter of interest to me is from Dad to his home church pastor. Evidently Dad was concerned with serving communion to people who weren't Baptist. He thought this might hinder him when he came back stateside to pastor very Southern Baptist churches. It was also an issue with him on Baptism too. The wise old pastor said "son, do not try to over analyze the situation. God has put you there to do the work. Do the work!" Good advice in a time of war.

Mom and Dad were separated for the first 2 years of their marriage. It was very difficult. I found one article that Mom clipped from an army magazine talking about how war marriages can survive. Their's did for 48 years.

He never really talked about that time over there. I know that he ministered to many men over there and that many of them came to Christ under his preaching. I'm sure that he's greeted many of those people in heaven.

Thanks Dad for serving Jesus and for protecting our country in her time of need.

The Drakes and the USO Show


Our family participated in the local USO Show Sunday afternoon at the Ritz Theater. It was a musical review in honor of Veterans and in conjunction with Veterans Day on Tuesday. We sang "White Christmas" and then Taylor and I did a duet with "Baby It's Cold Outside".

Most of these pictures were taken back stage. Taylor was with me in the BLUE shots. She turned around and looked at me and I said "Taylor, you look like Nana!" (My mom). It was really scary how much she looks like pictures of my Mom in the 40's.

Anyway, we had lots of compliments for our family singing together. Maybe we'll do more of it.

Worship Post-Fessional, November 9, 2008

This post is part of Sunday Setlists over on Fred McKinnon's site.




Set List:
Your Grace Is Enough (Maher)-this is always a great song and we've done it alot--just has a  great deal of energy.  Too bad that my in ear monitors died on me just prior to this and I had to stop everything--tell everyone to greet while I found a new battery!
The Lord Reigns (Gateway) Our new song for the fall. I felt like they sang it better today. We've done it 3-4 times in the last six weeks.  Again--I was never a big fan of repetition, but lately we've started cycling songs so that people know them and sing them.  It works!
Welcome To Worship
Tis So Sweet (Hymn-Remixed)   A great old hym
Unto The King Eternal (Charlie Hall)--great scripture song from 1 Tim 1:17
All The Way My Savior Leads Me (Tomlin)-this was our first time to do it. We stripped everything down to the bare minimum-1 lead, 1 alto and one male backup, guitar and piano. It was sweet.  The congregation looked at the words while we sang it.  Lots of great comments on this one.
Message
Response- (Two large White boards with markers--people came and wrote a statement of how God has been faithful to them)











He's Always Been Faithful (Sara Groves)
You Said (Hillsong)

So how was your Sunday?

I'm Here Saturday Night

After last weeks exciting finish to the Tech/Texas game, we were blessed with some tickets to the Tech/OSU game this week. It's the same time as last week's game--7PM, which means we'll be rolling in pretty late Saturday evening.

But it will be worth it. The whole family is going!

Look for pictures Sunday afternoon from this adventure. GO TECH!

TIGERS WIN--56 to 49...What A Game!


It was a great game tonight as the Snyder Tigers moved into the playoff round via a victory over Brownwood. It was an offensive shootout with each team scoring and scoring. I don't know if they didn't both leave the defensive teams in the locker room. It ws a cold November night.

On to Round 1--most likely against Lubbock Cooper (whom we beat Oct. 3 53-7). Let the second season begin.

BIG GAME FOR THE TIGERS

It's a huge night tonight for the Tigers as they take on Brownwood for the right for chance to play next week in the playoffs.  It's do or die tonight--one team will advance and one team will hit the hardcourts for basketball on Monday.

This has been an interesting year.  We are in THE toughest district in the state (they call it the District of Death).  5 of the 6 teams in the district were in the playoffs last year and two of those (Wylie and Snyder) were in the State Semi-Finals.

Hang tough Tigers!  I'll do my part in the Pressbox with words of encouragement and cheer.

Creative Chaos--You've Never Seen This Before

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul.com. It's a place where people who are creative share creative thoughts and ideas.

Ok--this post is a little different and I'll admit I'm somewhat hesitant to post this because it's awkward. In my years of doing sets and visuals for the church I've never done anything like this (Unless you count the fire pit with faux flames and smoke when the pastor spoke about the sons of Eli and the strange offering they gave to the Lord--that afternoon a church across the street caught fire and burned down. They blamed me).

(These are my prelim sketches, inspiration photos and actual build photos)

So, in our planning session back in October for this service we knew that we would be speaking about Human government. We thought it was appropriate for the Sunday before the election and realized we couldn't have planned it better (Yea God). We would be talking about the passage in Genesis where the people disobey God and begin to rule themselves and build for themselves a tower. No--we didn't build a tower of Babel. We did construct instruments of Human Government which enforce the laws. More specifically (I know I'm hemming and hawing here) we put and electric chair and a guillotine and a table of rocks and a cross on stage to talk about the instruments of enforcement that Human government uses to rule the people. Our point being, had the people only listened to God when he said "Go forth and multiply" they wouldn't have had these situations. Silly sinners! (oops--we still do that!)

The Electric Chair came from an old table I had. I cut it midway and moved the legs in. The end of the table became the back of the chair and I found some scrap wood to be the extended part of the chair. The wiring came from a store locally and the metal head piece is... you guessed it--the collander from the kitchen. I was inspired by the picture from the web (no, we didn't do the whoopee cushion)
The Guillotine was made from simple two by fours and the metal blade is really cardboard spray painted high gloss silver.

So--does anyone need any stage pieces for Captial Punishment Sunday? Ok--I feel better now that I have that written down.

The win for the day was one of our older ladies walking up to it and looking at it and telling our pastor "You know maybe its our time to suffer some persecution--and I'm ready to lay my head down in that thing and proclaim Jesus as King". If that was the reason we did it--then it was worth it all.

My son was very intrigued with it and we had a great discussion about government and punishment. He's been very tuned into the election (5th grade year--government study is heavy).

Randy Parker... you ever built something like this?

Watercooler Wednesday-Special Needs Children and Music

This post is part of Watercooler Wednesday's over on Randy Elrod's blog, Ethos.

On Monday evening I accompanied the local Junior High choir for their Fall concert. Following that the High School choir came out and with it came one of their students--a special needs child in a wheel chair. She was dressed just like the other girls; in her black satin dress and pearls. She was beautiful. She was placed as close to the riser as possible and then the concert began.

I couldn't keep my eyes off her during the songs. During the fast ones, she moved her head back and forth just like the other girls. During the slower songs, she was somber and reserved just like her counterparts. During the finale when the girls began to clap and move, she broke into the biggest smile and began to clap and sing as much as she could. It was breathtaking to watch this artist release her feelings through music.

I can only tell you that it was one of the most moving experiences that I have seen in a long, long time. Thanks should go to the choir teacher and administrators for including this wonderful artist in the program. It showed me that music is a universal language that transcends many barriers--even the barriers of special needs.

Have you seen such things as this? Share them here.

Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?


Why do we vote on a Tuesday... in November?

The short answer: We used to be a nation of farmers.

The long answer: Congress chose November because the harvest was over and the weather wouldn't be bad enough to prevent people from traveling.

As for Tuesday, people used to have to travel overnight to their polling location. (In 1845, horse was the preferred method of transport.) In an effort to avoid religious days of rest, Congress chose Tuesday, leaving Monday and Wednesday as travel days. Tuesday was voting (and horse-resting) day.

The Star-Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner (1915)
Tonight I accompanied the Snyder Junior High choirs for their fall concerts.  It's always good to be around young musicians and see their development.

Then the High School choir gave their fall presentation and did a great job.  I especially liked "MY GOD IS A ROCK" (in a weary land--O how weary our land is today!)

The final number was THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.  I heard them this afternoon practicing it and I honestly wept.  How timely it was at this point in our nation's history to remind us of the LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.   I did it again tonight when they sang--the tears flowed down my cheeks as I thought about my kids (1 of which was on stage) and the future of this land.   I'm weary and worn from this election.  I don't know how it will turn out--but I know who holds tomorrow and it isn't a political party or even a political candidate.  My faith and trust is in the Everlasting God.   He indeed is a shelter in the time of storm and a rock of refuge in a weary land.

Worship Post-Fessional, Sunday, November 2, 2008

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on Fred McKinnon's site.

Today was an interesting day. There was so much going on in this service. First of all there were some set pieces for this weeks sermon that were large and in charge today. I"ll be blogging about those later this week. We also had an emphasis on the elections and as part of the sermon we handed out little buttons I had made (from here)with "13:1" on them. This was to reflect the passage in Romans 13:1 that says:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For(B) there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

The set list for this week looked like this:

Let It Rise (Holland) Old school I know--but still a great opener
Only A God Like You (Walker)--another oldie but goodie
Turn/Greet
Welcome--Prayer for Elections
Offering
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Hymn)
Center (Charlie Hall)

Message
God of This City (Passion Version) with this video-this was our first time ever to do this song.

Our God Saves (Baloche)
Dismiss--God of This City-Band

First SERVICE (Traditional)--Our Senior Adult choir led. They began by singing JESUS IS COMING SOON!. We weren't trying to be prophetic--it is just a song we've been working on in the collection we have. "Troublesome times are here..."--Ok, maybe it is prophetic!

So, how was your Sunday?





Oh My Goodness!

Texas Tech did it.  They beat TEXAS--39-33 in Lubbock tonight.
I'll admit that I was nervous the whole night long.  

I was holding my breath the during the game and only came alive during that last play from Harrell to Crabtree.. OH MY GOODNESS.


Thanks to Tres and Sherry and family for a great evening of food (STEAK!) and fellowship around the football game.  It must have been a great game to be at!

Go Tech!

Go Tech! Beat Texas

video
For 4 years I was in the GOIN BAND at Texas Tech. At times we needed a GOIN' BAND Linebacker.

The game with the University of Texas was always the biggest game of the years. I can remember traveling to Austin for the games and the battle with the UT BAND for bragging rights to see who won halftime. In those days the Tech football team wasn't very good and that's all we had to compete. The story is different these days.


Tonight in Lubbock #1 Texas takes on #7 Texas Tech in a game of epic proportions. This is really the first UT/TECH game that has been really important to both schools. Other than pride-they're playing for position and standing in the polls.

We'll be Tailgating it here in Snyder with some friends at their house. Although we'd love to be in Lubbock, being here might be safer.

Momsense and Dadsense